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I just started soloing the r22 and am getting a little white knuckled on the pickups. It feels like the front of the helicopter wants to lift up and do a "wheelie" for lack of a better explanation. Someone mentioned to add 20-30 pounds under the passenger seat. Would that make much of a difference? I never had trouble with the pickups when the instructor was with me. I was also wondering if it is normal to be afraid on the initial solos and how much time does it take to get more comfortable. The flight school i'm attending has very few students and I don't think any of the other students have soloed so I'm hoping this forum will be able to give me some guidance. I feel like I'm losing my "nerve" :( I would appreciate any suggestions or comments. Thank you.

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I just started soloing the r22 and am getting a little white knuckled on the pickups. It feels like the front of the helicopter wants to lift up and do a "wheelie" for lack of a better explanation. Someone mentioned to add 20-30 pounds under the passenger seat. Would that make much of a difference? I never had trouble with the pickups when the instructor was with me. I was also wondering if it is normal to be afraid on the initial solos and how much time does it take to get more comfortable. The flight school i'm attending has very few students and I don't think any of the other students have soloed so I'm hoping this forum will be able to give me some guidance. I feel like I'm losing my "nerve" :( I would appreciate any suggestions or comments. Thank you.

Been there, done that!

 

When I did my first solo in an R22, I did the same thing. The CG is much further back than what you're used to, and the ship is a whole lot squirrelier. I have picture a friend took of me in our 22, and it looks like the skids are pointed up about 20 degrees!

 

Trust me, you'll get used to the difference. Oh, I should mention that on my first solo it felt like it took me about a minute to get the helo in control after I lifted off -- it was probably more like a few seconds, but it sure seemed like forever. Stay with it -- you'll be fine!

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Ooohhh...

 

I don't think I'm looking forward to doing my solo then.

 

(whisper)I might be soloing this weekend. Don't tell anybody.(/whisper)

 

Later

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Iron Ranger- perfectly natural...the added weight will help, and it will help with the cyclic not being over as far left as possible...depending on how much you weigh. Personally, I am right at 240, so the ship does lean a bit with me in it !

 

As soon as you start to pick up, you should be moving to keep the skids level..then youre in a normal hover. If your light, or it really bothers you, add the weight, it wont hurt, just keep with WB limits. You will also notice that when you are light, the winds and updrafts feel like they really take you for a ride...slow down if it gets bouncy and move thru it. Hopefully you have had all the SFAR training by now..

 

I find landing much softer if I am light, and the CG is a bit aft of normal.

 

Just think of the good news, you can climb out at 1200 FPM on a hot day !

 

BTW, after 10 or 12 solo flights its sooooo much more fun, and less stressful... you'll get there.

 

Safe Flying.

 

Goldy

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I actually just did my very first quick solo yesterday and noticed the same thing. I knew it was going to require more left and forward cyclic, but it was more than I expected when I actually picked it up. The nose high attitude threw me off a bit while hovering, too. I'm used to seeing the compass in one spot and now it was a good bit higher in the hover so at first I was creeping forward, but eventually got the hang of it. My pick ups and set downs weren't as good, but I'm sure I'll get it with some practice.

 

Anyway, congrats on your solo ironranger! Just relax and remember you're doing the same thing whether the instructor is with you or not - just need to make different adjustments.

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I just started soloing the r22 and am getting a little white knuckled on the pickups. It feels like the front of the helicopter wants to lift up and do a "wheelie" for lack of a better explanation. Someone mentioned to add 20-30 pounds under the passenger seat. Would that make much of a difference? I never had trouble with the pickups when the instructor was with me. I was also wondering if it is normal to be afraid on the initial solos and how much time does it take to get more comfortable. The flight school i'm attending has very few students and I don't think any of the other students have soloed so I'm hoping this forum will be able to give me some guidance. I feel like I'm losing my "nerve" :( I would appreciate any suggestions or comments. Thank you.

 

Perfectly normal pick up attitude for the R22 with only one person in it.

 

The thing with your first solo flight is that you are now in a position where you have to work out what to do on your own. With your instructor on board you have developed a muscle memory that, to a certain degree, you now do automatically and you don't think about it. You raise the collective and your cyclic arm does what it always does and all is right with the world. The helicopter comes up and holds in a hover.

 

Now solo - you do the same thing. And guess what? It doesn't work as it should do! You have to change your cyclic inputs, because the CG is totally different to what you are accustomed to. Now I guess though that you did it ok - it may have been a little shakey, but you managed.

 

Did your instructor explain what would happen without his/her weight there? I always made a point of explaining what would happen on that first pick up. I would also put about 30 pounds of ballast in the footwell, or under the seat to help out. Most students would gradually wean themselves off adding ballast.

 

Take note also that with the weight reduction you come off the ground sooner, will climb faster and also you have to plan your descent earlier. The most important thing to do on the pick up is to do it SLOWLY! That goes for any helicopter that you have never flown before. Take your time and feel it through and you will always pick up no problems at all. Just don't be in a hurry.

 

Don't get discouraged - add some weight if you want, either under the seat or in the footwell, making certain that it won't slip forward and block your pedals. If you choose not to, you will soon get used to the different pick up attitude. Then wait until you fly with your instructor again - it will all be different again!

 

Hope that helps.

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I always you to put weights in, especially in the R44. It was mainly for comfort and speed. It was hard getting the R44 over 120 kts until you had at least 200-250 lbs in the cockpit. Then it would run about 125-130 kts. Same goes for the 206L I fly now.

 

Go get some lead shot from your local ammo reloading place. Wrap it up in a couple of sand bags and put it in a small canvas army tool bag from the surplus store. You'll have a compact 50 lbs weight bag, that won't leak lead shot, or become a dangerous projectile like a barbell in a crash. All for about $20.

 

These fit nicely under the seats, on the floor, belted to the seat, stuffed in the nose (pedals removed of course!). You can also strap them to the cargo basket on the 300s to help balance them out.

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I always you to put weights in, especially in the R44. It was mainly for comfort and speed. It was hard getting the R44 over 120 kts until you had at least 200-250 lbs in the cockpit. Then it would run about 125-130 kts. Same goes for the 206L I fly now.

 

Go get some lead shot from your local ammo reloading place. Wrap it up in a couple of sand bags and put it in a small canvas army tool bag from the surplus store. You'll have a compact 50 lbs weight bag, that won't leak lead shot, or become a dangerous projectile like a barbell in a crash. All for about $20.

 

These fit nicely under the seats, on the floor, belted to the seat, stuffed in the nose (pedals removed of course!). You can also strap them to the cargo basket on the 300s to help balance them out.

 

 

wow, a 130 Knots in an R44. You must be flying the Super model.

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The nose up is common, and takes a little getting used to it. Give it some time, and you'll just adapt. Congrats too on the solo! The 1st time I flew a 206, I asked the CFI how it picked up(ie: right side first, left side first, nose high, etc.), all he said was..."Pick it up slow, small control inputs, and react to what it's doing", and I did. Picked her up slow, and right to a steady 5 foot hover.....piece of cake....when you do it slow, eye's outside, and FLY the helicopter!

 

Delorean, flying the 22 HP solo, it picked up level(battery was in the front). The Alpha, etc. they put the battery in the rear, and now it comes up nose high....remember that? The HP was a good ship to fly!

 

I put up a notice for rides at work, already have 2 flights for next weekend(3 total though).....YEE HAW! 3 hours at 1/2 the cost.......good times! :)

 

Cheers ALL

R91

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Hello All,

I am on the verge of my first "supervised" solo and my instructor really has been good about sharing all the little things I should expect - like the difference in weight or in this case, lack thereof. My issues seem to revolve around consistent pick-ups and set downs. My instructor has learned my trick to pick-ups - doing them really quick. LOL. The set downs are another issue. I try all my might to not hit that last little bubble of air and wash immediately before set down. What has been good is we have trained on several different types of terrain and have gotten off the taxi way and have landed on river sand bars and ocean tidal flats.

 

But, my first solo is tentatively scheduled for next week. Wish me luck.

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This is the first time I have written to this post and it has been a very welcoming experience with all the great feedback that has been received. I can't wait for the winds to die down because I feel like I got my nerve back :) to give it another try. I wish all the soon to be soloing pilots the best of luck as I know exactly how you feel. Flying feels a lot different when you don't have that security blanket sitting next to you. Thank you all for your great advice and suggestions and safe flying to all.

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Lasiter,

 

 

 

Ths will sting you at one point or another during your career. Slow them down now before it does!

 

Joker

 

 

Joker- glad you said it, I was about to. Fast pickups will someday result in a rollover, you'll snag a rock or a crevice or something that will bite hard !

 

When the bird gets light it might slide a bit ( 2 inches is all you need ), make a correction, add some power, make a correction and your airborne. nice and slow, and straight up.

 

Goldy

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Joker- glad you said it, I was about to. Fast pickups will someday result in a rollover, you'll snag a rock or a crevice or something that will bite hard !

 

When the bird gets light it might slide a bit ( 2 inches is all you need ), make a correction, add some power, make a correction and your airborne. nice and slow, and straight up.

 

Goldy

 

I saw an Army video about dynamic rollover a long time ago that was talking about a high number of rollovers taking place on hard surfaces.

 

None of them were snagging anything, the pilots doing fast pickups were the culprets though. What was happening was that the pilots pulled an arm load of power, then they kicked a bunch of left pedal for all that torque, and that gave the T/R a ton of pitch pushing on that right skid. All that T/R produced a right roll and by the time the left skid lifted, it was too late. Dynamic rollover is bad enough with hover power, but this was way above hover power and already had a pivot point.

 

Then they worked backwards and found out that this was the problem with a high percentage of dynamic rollovers in other surfaces too. Most of the accidents could have been a prevented with a nice slooooow pickup.

 

When you do a fast(er) pickup and look how much left cyclic you have to put in when the helicopter breaks ground......

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Delorean,

 

Goldy, you are totally right.

 

Delorean, you are totally right too. Infact, one of my classic questions to commercial and CFI students during oral stage checks was on that very subject.

 

"Ok, so you've told me that catching a skid can cause a rollover, but now describe how a pilot may experience dynamic rollover, whilst on a clean flat surface (with nothing to catch skid on)."

 

Of course, one mechanism is how you describe...by simply going to fast, and thus generating too much TR thrust causing a rolling moment.

 

There is one other mechanism that springs to mind too.

 

;)

 

Joker

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"Ok, so you've told me that catching a skid can cause a rollover, but now describe how a pilot may experience dynamic rollover, whilst on a clean flat surface (with nothing to catch skid on)."

 

Of course, one mechanism is how you describe...by simply going to fast, and thus generating too much TR thrust causing a rolling moment.

 

There is one other mechanism that springs to mind too.

A skid frozen to the surface.

 

Bob

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When certain elements of helicopter operations are at or near their most critical condition, such as high gross weight, right lateral center of gravity, crosswind from the left, hovering with only the right skid/wheel in contact with the surface and with thrust (lift) approximately equal to the weight, very little right roll rate is correctable for any given bank angle.

 

Once she starts to tip, you will not have enough cyclic control available to correct it...and over you go, without a snag of any kind.

 

Besides, you mentioned you were landing in tidal flats, one skid may sink just a bit deeper than the other, and over she goes....

 

Just trust us and slow down the lift offs !!!!

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Lasiter,

 

 

 

Ths will sting you at one point or another during your career. Slow them down now before it does!

 

Joker

 

 

Hello All,

Thanks for the input on the pick-ups. I appreciate it. My instructor constantly tells me it takes a "real pilot" to go slow and demonstrate control of the aircraft with skill...not just speed. It is just frustrating because I am performing other manuevers with a fair amount of confidence and success...but some of the most basic foundations are harder. I have however realized that training in multiple terrains in Alaska has created a situation when I do luck out and have zero wind on hard flat surface is cake.

 

Thanks again.

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Lasiter,

 

I'm glad you get something out of the posts above.

 

The pickups and setdowns do require some quite fine motor skills, and often appear to be harder than all the other skills.

 

Don't worry you will get it. It just takes time.

 

The main point about the last few threads, it IS possible to get rollover on a hard flat surface. (I wouldn't like to think you missed the point there.)

 

In fact Goldy's last post is almost the perfect answer to the question I posed. As he explains, there are many ways to get a roll on a 'hard flat surface'. Thanks Goldy.

 

So go out with confidence. If you take your time and stay smooth and calm then you will be much safer than if you try to get off the ground as quick as possible.

 

Going slower may feel more uncomfortable...you might joggle about or slide a little at first. But because you went so slow, that's all you'll do. Does that make sense? It is much safer, and will develop your fine skills more.

 

So chat to your instructor, and talk to him about all this.

 

Training Exercise - Have a go at doing the 'slowest' pickup you can. Raise the collective, as slow as you can. Whenever you slide a little, stop raising, reposition the cyclic until you stop sliding or bumping and pause. Then raise a little more. Eventually, you'll be off the ground without knowing it!

 

Note: Of course that is a training exercise only. A good pickup does not extend the period light on the skids unnecessarily. So a good pickup would be like the above maneuver, but smooth with no pauses until airborne.

 

Good luck.

 

Joker

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